Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

Wanted to bowl more, says Shami

- HT Cor­re­spon­dent sportsdesk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CEN­TU­RION: Mo­hammed Shami took three vi­tal South Africa wick­ets in the morn­ing ses­sion to jus­tify his spear­head tag on a day In­dia needed him to be at his best. Shami ended with 4/49, his sec­ond best bowl­ing ef­fort away from home. But there is an un­mis­tak­able feel­ing that in­stead of go­ing in for the kill with their most suc­cess­ful bowler, In­dia sud­denly took their foot off the pedal and started play­ing the wait­ing game.

Shami got the dan­ger­ous AB de Vil­liers with a peach of a de­liv­ery that reared form the good length area. The in­dus­tri­ous Dean El­gar was fi­nally un­done by a short de­liv­ery from round the wicket. Quin­ton de Kock too was dis­missed quickly but not with­out edges fly­ing through the slip re­gion in the three pre­vi­ous de­liv­er­ies.

Shami was on a roll by then, hit­ting the good length and get­ting some shape on al­most ev­ery de­liv­ery. But two overs af­ter re­duc­ing South Africa to 163/5, he was in­ex­pli­ca­bly pulled out and not given a bowl for the next 29 overs. Iden­ti­fy­ing the phase when a bowler wants to bowl more is cru­cial to chang­ing the course of a Test. Faf du Plessis recog­nised the same zeal in Ver­non Phi­lan­der and South won the Cape Town Test as a re­sult. Shami in­di­cated he wanted the same.

“There are some stages in front of you that you want to bowl more but the cap­tain thinks that we should get them out quickly. So you can­not mind that but yes some­times you do feel in­side that maybe I could have got five wick­ets. But if you see from the team’s point of view, you will not feel like this,” said Shami af­ter the day’s play.

“It de­pends on the cap­tain when he wants to bowl you or any other bowler. It also de­pends on the con­di­tions I sup­pose. Maybe I bowled be­fore lunch so I couldn’t bowl im­me­di­ately. So the cap­tain might be think­ing that we should bowl in ro­ta­tion,” said Shami, ad­ding that he wasn’t in­jured or tired when he was pulled out of the at­tack.

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